Villa Borghese. A breathtaking art gallery and a masterpiece in itself

In Rome, there is a park called Villa Borghese Pinciana. It is one of the largest parks in the city, covering an area of approximately 80 hectares (197 acres). The park is situated on the Pincian Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome, and offers stunning panoramic views of the city. Villa Borghese Pinciana is renowned for its beautiful landscape, serene atmosphere, and numerous attractions. It was originally owned by the Borghese family, a prominent Italian noble family, who transformed the area into a vast garden in the 17th century.

On the premises you will find a palace that does not look very impressive from outside called Villa Borghese. But inside it contains a breathtaking art gallery called Galleria Borghese. The Villa was originally built in the early 17th century. Construction of the villa began in 1613 under the patronage of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who was an avid art collector and nephew of Pope Paul V. The villa was intended to serve as a retreat and showcase for his extensive art collection. The architects responsible for the design of the Villa Borghese were Flaminio Ponzio and Giovanni Vasanzio. Ponzio was the chief architect of the project and oversaw the overall design and construction of the villa, while Vasanzio contributed to the design of the gardens and the external aspects of the building.

But t is not only the masterpieces of art like sculptures, paintings, and even the furniture that make this Villa. The villa is a masterpiece in itself. When you enter, you do not know what to look at – the floors, the ceilings, the walls or sculptures, paintings, or furniture. Basically, you have this problem at many spots in Rome, but this place is summing it all up. The interior of the villa, where the artworks are displayed, features lavish and ornate decoration. The artists responsible for the interior decoration include some of the most renowned names of the time. Here are a few notable contributors:

Giovanni Battista Viola: Viola was an Italian painter and decorator who worked on several rooms within the villa. He executed various frescoes, stuccowork, and architectural decorations, including the stunning ceiling frescoes in the main entrance hall.

Agostino Tassi: Tassi was an Italian painter and architect who worked on the decoration of the villa. He was responsible for the frescoes in the Sala delle Muse, a room dedicated to the Muses.

Domenichino: Domenico Zampieri, known as Domenichino, was an Italian painter who executed frescoes in the villa. His work can be seen in the Sala dei Diamanti, which features scenes from the life of Pope Paul V and allegorical figures.

Bernardino Cesari: Cesari, also known as il Cavaliere Bernardino, was an Italian painter who contributed to the decoration of the villa. He executed frescoes depicting scenes from ancient Roman history and mythology.

Another important thing about this place is that you have to reserve the ticket (a week or two before you plan to visit it) and you are allowed to enter only for the time of two hours. The number of visitors at one time is limited. If you are inside, practically you can move around freely. You can focus on what you want. In Rome, it is not that usual. So among places where you have to queue to enter and then move among crowds those two hours are a time to relax and just contemplate the art.

But enough talk. Below a selection of photos, I made at this place. In many photos, you will see beautiful skirts. As we visited this place, it hosted an exhibition of haute couture skirts designed by Azzedine Alaia (>>>). Enjoy!

Villa Borghese. A breathtaking art gallery and a masterpiece in itself